redesign | transport: Brilliant move by metromile to offer special Uber insurance

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The insurance industry has been slow in adapting to the new economy. Companies like Uber and Airbnb challenge the traditional delineations in insurance: personal vs. business use.

Personal insurance is designed to cover non-commercial use. If you, your friends and family are the only ones using your property, the risk is lower than if a bunch of strangers come and go. If you’re driving your car alone, the risk is lower than if you’re transporting a passenger.¬†As a result, personal lines are cheaper.

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redesignAnswer: The easiest, most productive way to improve @Uber screen is…

… to add the color of the vehicle.

Having the picture of the driver, type of vehicle or license plate number isn’t useful when you’re trying to spot the car from a block and a half way.

You can see color from a block and a half or two blocks. (Depending on the size of the blocks, of course.) If you’re well versed in vehicle models, you might be able to see it from half a block or a block. (Unless it’s a Prius, of which there are many.) You certainly can’t read the license plate until the driver is a few feet away.

The driver’s picture is useless until the driver is right in front of you. Maybe when the driver is within 10-20 feet, the map and the vehicle info zooms into a picture of the driver.

Putting the color of the vehicle would be a huge improvement.

It would make it easer:

  • For passengers to find their driver.
  • Get passengers to hold their phone out or otherwise signal the driver.

It would also prevent incidents like what happened to me on Sunday — the driver sped past me at at least 30 mph. And then backed up several hundred feet in one-way traffic. Clearly unacceptable in my book.